- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Categories: Assembly Questions, Latest News
MIKE HEDGES ASKS WELSH GOVERNMENT TO STAND UP FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE UNABLE TO SEEK HELP AND ADVICE ONLINE
Speaking after Business Questions, local Swansea East Senedd Member, Mike Hedges said… ‘ We know that a lot of organisations provide high quality help and services, but only online. It is a sad issue if people are in need of assistance and are unable to access help because they do not have access to the Internet.
I urge the Welsh Government to ensure that none of its advice services provide only online help; I would also urge them to ensure that organisations funded by the Welsh Government provide phone help lines and where possible face to face support. ‘
Mike Hedges MS – I would like to ask for two statements. The first one is on the number of organisations who provide only online help and online services, thus excluding those who do not have access to an online facility or cannot use online facilities. I would like to ask for a statement from the Government on how they’re ensuring that those who cannot or do not want to use online facilities can actually access services via the telephone.
Thank you. Digital now plays a significant role in our society, from allowing people to engage with health and public services, for instance, or reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation by maintaining contact with their friends and families, or, of course, continuing to work and access learning. But of course, there are people who choose not to participate, or see no need to, and, of course, there are those who can’t afford the costs that are associated with being online. I think we know, during and since the pandemic, that many services have now moved to digital channels, so it is absolutely critical to those developing these services that they’re aware and consider the implications for people who are digitally excluded, from an equalities aspect, as well, of course, as the impact on the economic recovery. You’ll be aware of our programme for government commitment, our digital strategy for Wales, and that absolutely makes clear our aim to equip people with the motivation, access, skills and confidence to engage with an increasingly digital world based on their needs. As a Government, our role really is to engage with and continue to raise awareness of the need for service providers, be they public, private or third sector, to ensure that people are able to access services in a way that meets their needs.